Numbers 2. Report of Captain Craig W. Wadsworth, Aide-de-Camp.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS,
Near Belle Plain, Va., February 17, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in pursuance of verbal instructions from the major-general commanding, I proceeded to the Northern Neck with two squadrons of the Eighth New York Cavalry, under command of Captain Moore, on the 13th instant.
We reached Westmoreland Court-House at 12 m. Learning that a mail was received at Warsaw Court-House from Richmond every Tuesday and Friday evenings, and that it was quite a rendezvous for smugglers, I pushed on to that place, arriving there at dusk. As we were entering the town, I arrested a citizen of Maryland, who was returning for Hague in a sulky, and had with him several hundred yards of dress stuck. He came from Maryland about the 1st instant with two other citizens. They brought with them three wagon-loads of goods, which they took to Richmond. He has also been in the habit of carrying the mail between the rivers. At Warsaw* I god a Richmond mail, which was brought across the river that afternoon. I searched several of the houses, and also the hotel, which was used as a depot, but found that everything had been remand two days before. Williams R. Callahan, the postmaster, and the proprietor of the hotel, both escaped into the woods. I found there was a regular line between this place and Hague, and that a large amount of goods had been brought through during the last month. They have two large boats and several small ones at the ferry, which is about 3 miles from Warsaw. They can bring over 16 horses at a time on the large boats.
General f. Lee's brigade of cavalry is stationed in Essex Country, opposite Richmond at 11 p. m., and went 6 miles in the direction of Hague, where we bivouacked.
On the morning of the 14th we went to Hague. There were quite a number of citizens and several soldiers in the village as we came in. We took 4 prisoners, 1 belonging to the Ninth Virginia Cavalry, 2 to the Fortieth Virginia Infantry, and the other to the Signal Corps. The on furlough.
The afternoon of the 14th was spent in searching the houses and country in the vicinity of Machodoc Creek. A large quantity of contraband matter had been landed at this point and sent to Warsaw. Dr. [Samuel E.] Spalding, of Leonardtown, Md., had crossed the Potomac the night previous. The doctor is the wealthiest and largest trader on the Neck.
On the 15th instant we came, back as far as Millersville, and on the 16th returned to camp. I took for the Until States Government 17 horses and 1 mule. Turned over to Captain Moore, Eighth New York Cavalry, 13 horses and the mule, and the other 3 horses to Captain [Myron H.] Mandeville, quartermasters Firts Division of this corps. Four of the horses were taken from Mr. Newton's farm, at Hague. Mr.
[W. Willoughby] Newton is a member of Congress in the so-called Confederate States. Five were taken with the prisoners and the balance from farms of citizens who were in the army or had sons there.
* See Expedition to Mattox Creek, Va., etc., p. 15, and to Heathsville, Va., p. 16.